Teen indicted in fatal East Bridgewater crash that killed 4 Stoughton students


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By Cody Shepard

September 1, 2018

The 18-year-old Stoughton man is accused of driving recklessly and under the influence of marijuana at the time of the May crash on Route 106 in East Bridgewater.

BROCKTON — An 18-year-old Stoughton man has been indicted by a grand jury on charges he caused a fatal crash that claimed the lives of four of his classmates.

Naiquan D. Hamilton was indicted late Friday as a youthful offender on four counts each of manslaughter by motor vehicle, motor vehicle homicide by operating under the influence and motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation.

The crash occurred on May 19 at 558 West St. (Route 106), in East Bridgewater.

Prosecutors say Hamilton was driving recklessly and under the influence of marijuana when he crashed into a tree, killing his four passengers.  

The crash claimed the lives of 17-year-olds David Bell, Christopher Desir and Eryck Sarblah and 16-year-old Nicholas Joyce, all students at Stoughton High School. Desir lived in Brockton at the time of the crash. Three of the victims died at the scene, while Bell was taken to Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital, where he later died.

Bell was a junior and multi-sport athlete at Stoughton High School, where he played on the boys varsity basketball and football teams. Joyce, also a junior, played on the high school’s football team. They both were also on the track and field team.

Desir was part of the local Haitian community in Brockton. He assisted in the campaign of city councilor Jean Bradley Derenoncourt, and loved to play the drums at church on Sundays. Sarblah was also a member of the track team at Stoughton High and had an interest in photography.

The five teenagers were in Bridgewater the day of the crash playing paintball.

One of the teens, Desir, had his father drive to pick him up from paintball, but when he arrived, he asked for a few bucks so he could go to a restaurant with his friends. That’s the last time his father saw him.

The car the teenagers were in, a white Hyundai Sonata sedan, was almost unrecognizable after the crash. It was wrapped around a tree and upside down in a yard near West and Laurel streets.

Steve Walsh, a Bridgewater resident, told The Enterprise the night of the crash that he was driving west on West Street, approaching Laurel Street, when he witnessed the Sonata coming from behind him.

“As I was rolling up there, I was just reaching for the directional and out of the corner of my eye I saw a car airborne that passed us on the left, going through the yards,” he said. “It was very surreal to see a car flying through the air faster than what you’re driving on the road.”

Walsh estimated the sedan was driving upwards of 100 miles per hour.

Police say they reviewed surveillance video from nearby homes, which captured the crash on camera.

Hamilton, the driver, was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton following the crash, then transferred to Boston Medical Center for treatment of unknown injuries.

The investigation found that “Hamilton was driving recklessly and under the influence of marijuana at the time of the fatal crash,” District Attorney Timothy Cruz said in a written statement.

Hamilton will be arraigned on the charges in Brockton Juvenile Court, as he was 17 years old at the time of the crash, at a later date.

The case, which was investigated by East Bridgewater police, state police detectives assigned to the Plymouth County district attorney’s office and the state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Russell Eonas and Stephanie Mello.


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